Last updated September 1, 2021
Greece is often called the “Cradle of Western Civilization.” It’s the birthplace of democracy and the Olympic Games, so it’s no wonder that history buffs and holidaymakers alike flock to continental Greece and the beautiful islands that make up the country. Whether your trip to Greece involves sunbathing in Santorini or taking in some ancient history in Athens, your adventure begins with the right travel insurance.
Is travel insurance mandatory in Greece?
Greece is part of the Schengen area, meaning that you'll need to provide proof of travel insurance that meets specific requirements if you come from a country that requires a Schengen visa. For tourists from countries like America, a visa is not one of Greece's travel requirements. But it’s still strongly recommended. You’ll be glad to have travel insurance if your travels hit a rough patch.
COVID-19 in Greece
As of August 2021, Greece has a very high level of COVID-19 cases and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises against traveling there. If traveling to Greece is a must, the CDC recommends that you are fully vaccinated. Likewise, all visitors 12 and older must present negative Covid test results taken within 72 hours before departing for Greece. Here are some other Covid safety tips to take.
Greece doesn’t currently require additional testing upon arrival, but you still might want to take a test just to be on the safe side. Recently, the Greek health ministry announced that proof of Covid vaccination would be required for entry into establishments like cafes and bars. Travelers returning to the U.S. must produce a negative COVID test result within 72 hours of boarding a return flight.
Due to Covid, Greek officials have put certain restrictions on travelers. Currently, Greece only allows entry for EU and Schengen citizens and for travelers residing permanently in the United States, EU and Schengen states, among other countries. Also, in order to board Greece-bound flights, passengers must first fill out and submit a Passenger Locator Form. Once travelers submit the completed form, they’ll receive a QR code in response. Passengers must present this QR code prior to traveling to Greece.
Health & safety
Greece is regarded as very safe and the crime rate is low. One thing you have to watch out for when traveling in Greece, though, is petty theft. Be sure to keep your personal belongings in a safe, protected place and be on your guard against pickpockets. If you plan on sightseeing the ruins of ancient Greece, travel insurance with emergency medical evacuation insurance can give you extra peace of mind and confidence as you traverse the rugged terrain. If you need medical help in an isolated or hard-to-access area, you may need to be airlifted to the nearest medical facility. That expense alone could cost thousands of dollars without travel insurance. If you’re planning on a Mediterranean cruise, cruise insurance for Greece is always strongly recommended, if not mandatory.
Medical resources aboard cruise ships are very limited, and while major cruise lines have a number of strict safety protocols including Covid safety measures, you may require emergency medical evacuation if you suffer a major medical event aboard the ship.Another bonus of cruise insurance is that it covers costs related to rejoining your cruise if you happen to miss a port departure.
If you’re ready to book your trip to Greece but still have concerns over the Covid surge or are interested in other safety measures, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your investment is to buy trip insurance with a Cancel For Any Reason benefit. This allows you to cancel your trip for any reason and still recoup prepaid travel expenses.
Make sure you’ve received current, routine vaccinations before your trip. Here are some common vaccination recommendations for Greece. For the most up-to-date information on vaccinations and other health requirements check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Flu (influenza)
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- COVID-19 (travelers 16 years and older)
Visas & documentation
A lot of visas, including the Schengen Visa, require proof of travel insurance. So, confirm your specific visa requirements prior to your departure. In addition to the Covid documentation already mentioned, you’ll need your passport. Make sure the passport is current, with an expiry date of no earlier than three months after you return from your trip. As you plan your trip, ensure that you have all the paperwork to satisfy the travel requirements for Greece. If you have any questions on entry requirements for Greece, we recommend that you follow this site set up by authorities in Greece for the most accurate and up-to-date information.